Go to contents

Alas, Kim…

Posted October. 02, 2003 23:14,   


A misjudgement of the umpire and distrust of the coach intensified the ‘post season jinx’ of Kim Byung-hyun(25, Boston Red Sox)

In the first game of American League Division Series between Boston and the Oakland Athletics which ended at October 2, 2:40 a.m., Kim seemed to have a fine start when he came to pitch in the 9th inning with Boston coming from behind to capture the lead with a score of 4-3. He handled Damian Jackson first with 2 strikes and a fly ball caught by the center fielder.

However, Kim gave up four balls in a row to Billy McMillon. Then on the third pitch to Chris Singleton, with a count of 1 ball and 1 strike, he was hit by the pitch, putting runners on on 1st and 2nd base with 1 out. However, the replay showed that it was an incorrect call because the left-handed batter Singleton was actually hit on his left elbow around the home plate as he swung the bat.

After Kim struck out out Mark Ellis, Boston’s coach Grady Little replaced Kim with left-handed middle man Alan Embree to face left-handed slugger Erubiel Durazo, only to bring about disaster.

Embree, who had previously given up one hit and one walk in two previous plate appearances to Durazo, gave up a timely hit in front of the left fielder, allowing the tying run to score and giving the burden of ‘one earned runs and relief failure’ to Kim Byung-hyun.

This is the third time in the postseason that Kim has allowed the tying run to score in the 9th inning. When he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kim showed his strength with four games and three saves without giving up any runs in 2001, but in the 4th and 5th games of World Series with the New York Yankees, he pitched two consecutive games where he gave up runs to tie the game.

Little’s inept operation culminated in the 11th inning when he put Derek Lowe on the mound. Lowe was expected to start in the 3rd game at Boston on October 5. But nothing more than the victory was seen to the coach’s eyes, nor was the consideration of the entire race.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com